“It Was a Bad Injury” – Maryland Kills, 2019

Through a FOIA request to the Maryland Racing Commission, I have confirmed the following kills at that state’s tracks in 2019 (previous ones here.) Please note that in the wake of Santa Anita, Maryland began releasing much more detail. Because those details – and the words of the vets – are so powerful (and damning), I will release these in installments so as to give each death its proper due. Please share.

Reno Grande, Jun 9, Laurel R
“flipped on the way to the paddock and broke its [its, not his] left femur”

Scouting, Jul 19, Laurel R
Dr. Walsh: “Scouting was pulled up grade 4 lame on the left front. The fetlock was dropping…when the horse would bear weight. Palpation revealed a large, displaced, lateral sesamoid fracture. I could feel fragments over the medial sesamoid also.”

Final Fear, Jul 26, Laurel T (euthanized Aug 5)
Dr. Margolis: “I worked on Final Fear; she had bilateral sesamoid fractures right front; medial base fracture, lateral apical fracture…it was a bad injury.”

Belle Saison, Jul 27, Laurel R
“comminuted knee fracture”

Dr. Daniel: “A week or so prior to July 27, a trainer approached me with regard to a horse, Belle Saison, that he had noticed training on several mornings and had concerns about her soundness. I thanked him for coming to me and jotted down the name for future reference. As I remember that day, Dr. Sacksen examined Belle Saison in the morning and had no concerns. It is unclear if the eventual fracture in the filly’s knee occurred while she was running or if it occurred in the starting gate as a result of trauma when she became fractious.”

Dr. Walsh: “Dr. Daniel informed me she had been warned about her by a trainer. I watched her closely in post parade, she had a funny way of going with the right front swung out wide to the side, but she was even in her forward motion and not lame. She was very fractious in the gate, reared up and tossed the rider. I asked for her to be backed out…and I quickly examined her. I didn’t see any injuries…so [she] was reloaded for the race. She broke good and was running good until she backed out of it and pulled up. She was again very fractious and difficult to examine. The groom from the barn came down and began walking her for us. At that time, the lameness was now obvious…and she was vanned off. Dr. Moury took radiographs and called to tell us she was going to euthanize…3rd carpal bone had a comminuted fracture.”

Dr. Sivick (private vet): “Stated she was never lame, but carried filling in the upper joint of the right knee. He radiographed and injected the joint on June 16th. Stated the radiographs showed a spur on the proximal intercarpal bone, no chips, and the 3rd carpal on skyline looked okay.”

Belle Saison was only three years old. She was raced five previous times, all at Laurel. In the three most recent races, starting in June, she finished last twice and second-to-last once – a combined 56 lengths back. Trainer, Carlos Mancilla; owner, Michael Scheffres.

Versed, Aug 10, Laurel T (euthanized Aug 12)
Dr. Dias: “Versed was last tapped in Delaware on May 18th, got a low grade joint infection on the left front fetlock. He had surgery done around June 12th. He was back in training like recommended and was doing okay. Last Friday during a work, he fractured a sesamoid on the same left front. We tried to find a home but my opinion and also Patty Hogan’s was he would be a long time recovering and maybe only pasture sound. For that reason, we decided to euthanize.”

16 Comments

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  1. Absolutely HEARTBREAKING, DEVASTATING, UNACCEPTABLE turn of the century sadistic torture on these poor defenseless, voiceless racehorses.
    All of you horse racing apologists, every single one of you are parasitic scum found on an amoeba.
    That’s how low you idiots are.
    There are no excuses, no justification, no amount of money or jobs that can ever rationalize this widespread, pain, suffering, crippling, beating, doping, cheating, and killing.
    The blood continues to spew on the slaughterhouse floor if they are lucky enough to make it out alive.
    For YEARS now, and based on my direct experience as a direct witness this vile business and the vile people in it has known this for YEARS, but has been able to cover-up it up and deliberately deceive the public.
    Their “reforms” mean nothing as they are merely public wallpaper, empty rhetoric and senseless bullshit.
    These racehorses have less legal protections than a domestic pet snake although snakes and all animals are vulnerable to the humans supposedly caring for them.
    Nevertheless, these killers can get away with it – NO repercussions whatsoever – none, and that’s why this business attracts racehorse abusers and killers.
    This business has got to go!
    BAN horse racing.
    It can’t come soon enough for the racehorses and so sorry for all those who died for this despicable excuse for a killing show all for stupid bets – a total unnecessary gambling venue that has no place in the 21st century.

  2. And these professional excrements call themselves VETS with a DR abbreviation in front of their lame names? A DOCTOR/ VET shows care, compassion, respect for his/her patients. They take an oath that should mean something. And if it doesn’t then they shouldn’t practice. END OF STORY. But who are we kidding? You can only survive in a world of parasites if you are one. I am sorry…just because VERSED would have taken longer to recover after YOU disgusting “humans” broke him and “maybe only pasture sound” he deserved to DIE? God forbid they actually looked after him. No no no…kill him instead…no good for our pockets Any longer off to the needle he goes. It is absolutely mind-blowing how in the case of Belle Saison he “thanked” the trainer for coming to him yet he did shit all. Another parasite had examined her that same morning and she seemed “fine” so why the heck should he bother RE-EXAMINING her? It’s not his damn job, now is it? There is so much pain these poor souls have to endure in servitude to abhorrent “connections”…the ONLY way to stop their suffering is to PUT AN END TO HORSE RACING. Nothing more, nothing less. Shame on all of you! We know you feel no shame, you have zero values and morals. But when you will be out of “business” i hope you get to feel all the pain you’ve inflicted a million fold. No one’s purpose on this planet is to destroy and kill. There is no room for you.

  3. After reading all the vet reports on your last entry, I have to find fault with the treatment of the last horse on the report. “Versed was tapped and injected” and was afterward found to have a fracture. I am pretty sure that was NOT the only time the horse was injected. I had a friend who regularly did this to his stallion that he was trying to get back to the track. It was never successful and after a couple years of repeated injections of some steroid the horse’s leg snapped and broke above the left front ankle joint while standing still in tne stall. This was because the bone was weakened and made brittle by the years of steroid injections. So maybe that vet only injected the horse once but other vets had done it before. Of course this is something that is difficult to prove but all the dirtbags (trainers) at the racetrack know this about steroid injections and so do their vets. This is also why no drugs should be permitted at the track.or the training farm. Thankyou for obtaining these reports and please keep track of all horse deaths in some way. Or I could do it after reading the reports. Many people don’t actually know the numbers of horse deaths and there is alot of conjecture about it. I always refer any comments about it to Horseracing Wrongs. It seems the dirtbags in horseracing don’t want to actually know the true stories.

  4. If Kings put their racehorses through barbaric torture and abuse causing horrible injuries, suffering and death, they were wrong to do so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is wrong in any century to be so cruel to horses and it needs to stop! It needs to be stopped and the sooner it stops, the better!

  5. Belle Saison, I’m so sorry for what happened to you. You tried hard to “tell” these executioners but they and their ilk rarely, if ever, listen.
    She had a “funny” way of going with the right front – very professional statement!! It sure looks like the doomed filly had a “funny” way of going for a good reason. Are these people that incompetent or do they just go along with racing’s disregard for the safety of the horse?!! The trainer who first alerted the vet. had it right

    Versed was tapped then got a “low grade joint infection”!(always a risk in these procedures)). Then had “surgery” around the 12th of June and back in training less than 2 months later “like recommended”!! Maybe if “they” had tried to “find a home” at that point instead of pushing him into “training” the horse would have had a chance – but this is racing!!

    These details just confirm there is NO concern for the safety and welfare of the horse. Even the most glaring warnings are ignored. As they say, “when in a hole stop digging”- there is no way to defend, absolve or rationalize what is done to the horses.

    • I thought that the statement made by a so-called veterinarian, “Dr.” Walsh, that the horse, BELLE SAISON, “had a funny way of going” sounded incredibly stupid for someone that should have had about 8 years of college in order to be a veterinarian. Even a person with much less formal education and no title associated with their name could at least say the horse had a confirmation defect such as being pigeon-toed, or toe turned out, causing the hoof to swing outwards with each step or stride, if that was the case. To just say, “…a funny way of going” is so incredibly incompetent for a “titled veterinarian” that it seems that Dr. Walsh could have been a dog and cat vet with no experience with horses and paid to say what the racetrack owners/operators want them to say to fill out a race card for the wagering handle.

      • A funny way of going is just another “ smokescreen “ phrase used amongst these ignorant horse people,to throw out to the public. Sounds innocent enough “FUNNY WAY” of going?“WHAT IS SO FUCKIN FUNNY ABOUT A HORSE DISPLAYING LAMENESS” and then is forced into the starting gate just waiting to have a catastrophic breakdown. The FUNNY THING is the track VET is right there and just said this horse was sound enough to race. The winging out is a sure sign of lameness,I’ve seen it a dozen times.If I’ve seen it a dozen times then for sure this VET has seen it before. A horse with this sign of lameness is a game of Russian Roulette.He will breakdown,it’s just a matter of time. I’m not here to educate anyone but this winging out indicates a certain specific lameness. The VET. and TRAINER FAILED to do thier jobs and in my opinion both were negligent. They failed the “HORSE”. IMO both of these individuals credentials should be questioned and investigated.

      • Sopher D, I completely agree and it’s all of them, all of the people that participate in the horseracing horror show for wagering, filling out a race card and possible purse money. Anyone involved in this carnage should be punished. “What is” and “what should” are two different things entirely.

      • WALSH also states that after she reared up in the gate he asked her to be backed out of the gate. WALSH states he visually,quickly examined her and she showed no signs of injury and she was reloaded into the gate.Unless WALSH has x-ray vision, what was the quick exam going to accomplish, except make it look like he was concerned and doing his job.Obviously he was not doing his job or this horse would not have raced. You might expect this incompetence at an Arizona or New Mexico bullring but this is MARYLAND! Don’t they hold one of those fancy races for three year olds in MARYLAND?

      • Sopher D, that would be The Preakness Stakes where the “top trainer/s” get away with cheating before they enter the Kentucky Derby. I cite Bob Baffert with American Pharoah (spelling?) and JUSTIFY as his last two Triple Crown winners as an example of the cheating, including doping/drugging to keep horses from not being able to walk, let alone run.

      • “ FUNNY WAY OF GOING” Funnny?How was she funny?Like a CLOWN? She fucking AMUSED you like a clown?

      • Sopher D,
        I interpreted the choice of word “funny” to mean peculiar rather than humorous. It is deplorable that five veterinarians were involved and none of them stepped up to use their position as veterinarian to say, “SCRATCH BELLE SAISON from this race. She is lame and therefore not fit to race!” They all are guilty of contributing to the death of BELLE SAISON in a very barbaric and sadistic way.

  6. Chances are highly likely,depending on the level of racing most horses will display or fall into a range of lameness.At this point,the term lameness becomes an interpretation of the individual making that determination. Lameness can range from,dead lame with a head nod on the walk or trot to a typical case of UNDIAGNOSED MUSCULAR DYSFUNCTION,which is a precursor to most lameness. Early stages at which most lameness or soreness can be successfully treated.

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